ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. CK - 410026 RO
                                  STATE OF NEW YORK
                      DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
                            OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
                                     GERTZ PLAZA
                               92-31 UNION HALL STREET
                               JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433

          ------------------------------------X 
          IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE :  ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL
          APPEAL OF                              DOCKET NO.               
                                                 CK - 410026 RO
                                              :
                                                 RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S   
                                                 DOCKET NO.               
                                                 BL - 410210 - S
                WEST BANK REALTY CO.                                 

                              PETITIONER      : 
          ------------------------------------X                             

            ORDER AND OPINION DENYING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


               On November 10, 1988, the above-named petitioner-owner filed 
          an Administrative Appeal against an order issued on October 19, 
          1988, by the Rent Administrator, 92-31 Union Hall Street, Jamaica, 
          New York, concerning the housing accommodations known as 82 West 
          105th Street, New York, N.Y., Apt. 3-N.

               The issue herein is whether the Rent Administrator properly 
          reduced the rent of the subject apartment.

               The Rent Administrator's order, appealed herein, reduced the 
          rent of the subject apartment to the level in effect prior to the 
          last guideline increase based upon the owner's failure to provide 
          certain services. A DHCR inspection held on September 15, 1988, 
          found that:

                    1. Bathroom toilet flapper does not fall in properly.
                       Water does not come up to its level.
                    2. Bathroom floor tiles are cracked.
                    3. Vermin infestation in apartment.
                    4. Livingroom floor boards are loose and uneven.
                    5. Dining room closet walls and ceilings are cracked
                       and peeling paint and plaster.
                       Kitchen ceiling has a hole around riser and below
                       kitchen wall.  Foyer closet ceiling and wall --
                       peeling paint and plaster and cracks.


















          ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. CK - 410026 RO

               The same inspection report, however, found that the owner had 
          restored ten other services. 

               On appeal, the owner states, in pertinent part, that the 
          tenant never complained of a defective toilet flapper, defective 
          conditions in the dining - room closet, or the hole around the 
          riser and below the kitchen wall; that the owner documented the 
          tenant's refusal to provide access and after the Division's "no 
          access" inspection on September 15, 1988 there was insufficient 
          time to complete the necessary repairs before the order was issued; 
          that the results of a court-ordered HPD inspection on August 16, 
          1988 revealed no defective conditions; that the owner had already 
          completed substantial repair work in the subject apartment;  and 
          that the tenant agreed not to challenge the rent of the subject 
          apartment as part of a settlement agreement in a holdover action in 
          New York Civil Court.  The owner also asserts that upon receipt of 
          the Administrator's order, all remaining repairs were promptly 
          completed. 

               After a careful consideration of the entire evidence of record 
          the Commissioner is of the opinion that the administrative appeal 
          should be denied.

               Section 2523.4 of the Rent Stabilization Code provides, in 
          pertinent part, that a tenant may apply to the DHCR for a reduction 
          of the legal regulated rent to the level in effect prior to the 
          most recent guidelines adjustment, and the DHCR shall so reduce the 
          rent for the period for which it is found that the owner has failed 
          to maintain required services.  Required services are defined in 
          section 2520.6(r) to include repairs and maintenance.

               The Commissioner rejects the owner's argument that it was not 
          afforded sufficient notice of the conditions for which the rent was 
          reduced.  The record clearly shows that the tenant presented a 
          broad-based menu of specific service complaints below including 
          unworkmanlike repairs made to the toilet and peeling paint and 
          plaster throughout the apartment, which adequately covered the 
          deficient service conditions which were the subject of the Rent 
          Administrator's reduction order.  The tenant's complaint was served 
          on the owner on January 21, 1988 and the inspection eight months 
          later revealed that many conditions remained unrepaired.  Moreover, 
          the owner concedes that it was present at the inspection and 
          therefore had an opportunity to view the same conditions as the 
          inspector.  It is also noted that an inspection by the Division's 
          Enforcement Unit on April 22, 1988 revealed many of the same 
          conditions and these were reported to the owner.  




               The Commissioner also finds that the owner's contention that 
          it was denied access to the subject apartment to be without merit.  






          ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. CK - 410026 RO

          The record shows that a number of repairs, requiring apartment 
          access, were corrected by the owner in the subject apartment after 
          the tenant's complaint was served on the owner.  There is also no 
          evidence in the record of attempts by the owner to schedule 
          appointments for repairs by means of letters sent to the tenant by 
          regular and certified mail.  There is only a copy of one letter 
          sent to the tenant's attorney describing an incident when the 
          tenant purportedly denied access.  The Commissioner notes that the 
          owner is required to correct all service deficiencies complained of 
          by the tenant.  

               Contrary to the owner's allegations on appeal, the Division is 
          not bound by the inspection results of another agency (HPD) and 
          clearly has the right to conduct its own investigations and 
          inspections.

               The Commissioner has considered petitioner's claim on appeal 
          that the tenant was precluded from initiating this proceeding by 
          virtue of a settlement agreement executed between the parties in 
          Civil Court and rejects same.  A review of the settlement 
          agreement, dated October 19, 1987, shows that the tenant merely 
          agreed to accept the legal rent and not to challenge its 
          computation.  This can not be interpreted to mean that the tenant 
          had agreed to waive her rights to object to the owner's failure to 
          provide required services.  

               The Commissioner finds, therefore, that the Rent Administrator 
          properly based his determination on the entire record, including 
          the results of the on-site physical inspection held on September 
          15, 1988 and that pursuant to Section 2523.4(a) of the Code, the 
          Rent Administrator was mandated to reduce the rent upon determining 
          that the owner had failed to maintain services.

               Accordingly, the Commissioner finds that the Rent 
          Administrator properly reduced the rent of the subject apartment.

               It is also noted that contrary to the owner's allegation that 
          all repairs were promptly attended to after issuance of the order, 
          the Division's records indicate that the owner's five rent 
          restoration applications have been denied.

               THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent 
          Stabilization Law and Code, it is





               ORDERED, that this petition be, and the same hereby is, 
          denied, and the Administrator's order be, and the same hereby is,
          affirmed.













          ADM. APPEAL DOCKET NO. CK - 410026 RO

          ISSUED:




                                                                        
                                          JOSEPH A. D'AGOSTA
                                          Acting Deputy Commissioner




                                                    

    

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